CRIME

Police: Father kills son in murder-suicide in SLC office building

May 15, 2023, 11:22 AM | Updated: 6:37 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Following “an extensive investigation,” Salt Lake City police say a 49-year-old man killed his 16-year-old son in an office building over the weekend before dying by suicide.

Salt Lake City police say 49-year-old Parth Gandhi died by suicide after shooting and killing his child.

“Our detectives right now, they’re still developing more information trying to figure out, trying to answer the question of what may have motivated him to do this,” said Brent Weisberg, Salt Lake City Police Department Spokesperson.

A community member discovered Gandhi and his son inside Salt Lake City Psychedelic Therapy and Research, located near 2936 Highland Drive, at approximately 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, where Gandhi worked as a neuropsychologist and clinic director.

Gandhi is known in the healing community for his work with psychedelics, specifically as they relate to autism, concussions, addiction, and depression.

According to his website, he founded Salt Lake City Psychedelic Therapy and Research with the goal of bringing psychedelics to Utah in a safe and legal way.

Salt Lake City police said it’s unknown if any substances or psychedelics were used prior to the murder-suicide.

“Our investigation is still ongoing, anytime we have a death investigation, it is routine and it would not be uncommon for as part of the autopsy to do any toxicology reports, so all of that will still be pending,” Weisberg explained.

KSL TV contacted the clinic for a statement but did not receive a response.

On Gandhi’s social media profiles, he shared posts about healing depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, and on his Facebook page, he shared a public post as recently as December 2022 celebrating his son as a talented musician.

On Monday, mental health support staff were on-site at the Salt Lake City School District school the teen attended.

“It’s a tragedy when we lose two people in our community, in particular a 16-year-old who was well known in our community through this local school district,” Weisberg said.

Salt Lake City police are asking for help in this case, anyone with information about the case is asked to contact detectives.


Suicide prevention resources 

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call, text, or chat the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. All calls to legacy crisis hotlines, including the old National Suicide Prevention hotline, 1-800-273-8255, will also connect to a crisis care worker at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute as well.

Additional resources

  • SafeUT: Parents, students, and educators can connect with a licensed crisis counselor through chat by downloading the SafeUT app or by calling 833-3SAFEUT (833-372-3388)
  • SafeUT Frontline: First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and healthcare professionals can chat with a licensed crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app.
  • SafeUTNG: Members of the National Guard can chat with a licensed crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUTNG app.
  • Utah Warm Line: For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call 1-833 SPEAKUT 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • The Huntsman Mental Health Institute offers a wide variety of programs and services including suicide prevention and crisis services, hospital treatment, therapy & medication management, substance Use & addiction recovery, child & teen programs, and maternal mental health services including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
  • LiveOnUtah.org is a statewide effort to prevent suicide by promoting education, providing resources, and changing Utah’s culture around suicide and mental health. They offer resources for faith based groups, LGBTQ+, youth, employers, firearm suicide prevention, and crisis and treatment options.

Other community-based resources

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Police: Father kills son in murder-suicide in SLC office building